A Letter to Lockdown

Dear Friends, India has emerged as the strongest countries in the world. In times like these, what is needed most are leaders who raise the consciousness of the country to a higher level. And we are honoured to have PM #Modi#Sadhguru#NirmalaSitaraman#PiyushGoyal#YogiAdityanath (to mention a few) they have worked relentlessly to keep us safe. Nipping the bud before it spreads. To find light in darkness and solidarity in isolation. It was so wonderful to see the entire world coming together helping each other in solidarity. Never has it happened before.

We all know the truth about what has happened so far. Don’t listen and allow negativity eat into your brain… that when we are going to come out of this, a larger battle will have to be fought. A battle to sustain after we survive, and we need all the strength. A leader in times like these encourages, ensures, and motivates to keep the spirits up along with making plans to grow. Leadership cannot do without the support of its people.

When darkness ends and the sun rises upon us, let us remember the goodness in each one of us. We took care of our animals, migrants and sick, single-mindedly. Of course some have suffered… these are casualties of war, they will happen. A good leadership ensures the casualties are kept to minimum. Many didn’t buy essentials more than they needed so everyone could be served. Those who couldn’t help sat at home so they don’t add to the problem, but prayed and bled themselves seeing their businesses fail and wondered how they will stand up again. Once this ends, their battles starts to lift the economy. They need our support.

When we come out on 14th, it’s like coming into light. Having clarity about those who stood strong in times of crisis and those who let us down. Let’s us remember the foot soldiers, the policemen, army, doctors, nurses, cleaners, essential services, farmers.. who were on the frontline and kept doing the good work. The ones who fed the poor and the hungry, showing compassion to animals. There is a saying that a country which takes care of their animals, is definitely a country which will never let its people down. We have definitely raised the consciousness of each one of us as a single energy body to that level.

Let us continue to serve the animals, poor and the foot soldiers, and when we step out we ensure that feeding the animals and the poor become a habit, a ritual.. a necessity to our soul for we are one. We all pledge each one, feed one. And if we do that.. can you imagine.. no one goes hungry and thirsty.

Also, when we come out, let us be sensitive to nature. It has nurtured itself back and we are grateful. I can hear sparrow’s in my window. Different birds.. peacocks. Let us be conscious about them.. travel only when necessary, honk less, make less noise in the morning from our temples and mosques. Do you remember how they were startled with noise when we ran bells at 5pm? Let’s create less garbage, eat appropriately and allow food to be distributed to all instead of hoarding. Our health will be good. Cook at home. Watch less tv. Spend time alone at least an hour a day.. and be kind.. make a beautiful list of things we can do to sustain our planet.

Now, from 14th, let us help the ones who took the beating and on whose arms the country rests. The businesses, farmers and small shop owners. We should buy Indian, be India, travel Indian.. we might learn more about our countrymen than about others.. and learn to love each other more.. and help our people grow, for while the foot soldiers were are roots, businesses are our trees. They need to grow to give us fruit.

Our leadership will need support from us soon after. They are like the skies, they need to provide rain. We may or may not like things they do.. some have so much hate inside them. Nothing is perfect. But we need to cooperate, provide our suggestions and ensure that things happen instead of working towards things not happening. Negative energies will want to disrupt growth. We should not allow them to get into our space. And when they come we must remember today and know we had done better and we shined through. Let’s become a 5 trillion economy. Let us be an all inclusive country.. #standunited #stayunited #forindia #fortheworld

Together we can emerge as a strong and stable economy. I hope that the 21 days penance has changed us, given us clarity and hope, shown us who we are.. let us diminish fear and bring courage.. let us Stand United. Take care folks!! Love to all.

©2020 Dhanlaxmi Puja Goyal

The Brave Shall Rise Again

We stand poorer now, a hand guiding us is no more.
We stand lost now for the poetry will no longer flow.
Words stop flowing from the pen; it lies broken.
The sparrows weep. The dawn will not bring new promises.

Your light guided the wretched and the impossible.
You soul raged with spirit, compassion and want.
Dreams of new India, weaved into a bright future.
You now leave behind an empty heart.

Dear God's in heaven, you played a nasty trick.
You took maliciously what belonged to us.
The man immortal in spirit he stands.
Spreading light, leaving a mark, he walked ahead.

Wake up sleepy Youth of India,
Choose to follow the brave and the victorious
Their ways are not of the weak and downtrodden.
Let us wage war against hatred and contempt.

The roads are marked with hard work and toil,
Dug clean, weeds pulled out; left clean for us to walk.
His raging words won't go down light into the night.
He will rise in us with passion and pride.

(an obituary written in memory of our former Late Prime Minister and Poet Shri. Atal Bihari Vajpayee)

© 2019 Dhanlaxmi Goyal

Black Friday

potenciar-campanas-shopping.jpg

Black Friday,” the darkest day in the 365 days of the year. This is how I imagined it to be when I heard the two words on Radio for the first time and wondered about the Announcer’s excitement. They were offering discounts and providing attractive ways for people to spend money. I researched on the dark almost sinister words and realised, it referred to the day after “Thanksgiving” when the shopping season starts and people are looking forward to Christmas. A reminder that Christmas Eve would be around the corner; so you must BUY, BUY ALL YOU CAN!

Dig deeped and “Black Friday” has several origins…

ONE: The most plausible explanation would be when the words BLACK FRIDAY first found its place in the journal, Factory Management and Maintenance , in November 1951 & 1952. It was a terminology used by the workers to call in sick after Thanksgiving Thursday, to use this opportunity as a longer 4 day holiday. (Thursday to Sunday). The people flocked shops to purchase goods. A shopping frenzy resulting in blocked roads, accidents, arguments, parking tickets, and many vigilant Police Officers who had to put in extra time to manage the crazy people grabbing goods.

TWO: The Police Officers officially called it “BLACK FRIDAY” because of the troubles it caused them and the hustling they had to do. Enterprising on this, retailers provided lucrative offers to attract shoppers.

THREE: Companies who hardly made a sale throughout the year were profited during Festival Holidays. They would usually mark their accounts in “red” when they made a loss and “black” when they made a profit; and post Thanksgiving, they made a “profit”. Hence, supposedly called it BLACK FRIDAY.

FOUR: It is rumoured that before Civil War, the Americans celebrated Thanksgiving by selling off their slaves, new children born to slaves as slaves after Thanksgiving on a Friday to celebrate and was called, “Black Friday”. Although this is claimed to be a rumour. The Native Americans Suffered as well. Read: Decolonizing the History of Thanksgiving

Regardless, the festivities are catching on in India. Americanisation sinking in and BLACK FRIDAY now becoming the official festival promoted by Radio Channels, TV and Online Media. But do we need to spend so much and create a festival of it? Is consumerism important? What’s the most sensible thing to do on a BLACK FRIDAY??

  1. If this is an excuse after Thanksgiving to take off for a 4 day weekend, I would much rather spend time at home with friends and family. Let’s extend it to Friday, Saturday and Sunday… eat a nice home cooked meal with them and spread love.
  2. Take a trip to an animal shelter, senior home, children’s home, if you are alone… and buy material which will be helpful to them; assist them set things up to get things going.
  3. If the shopping bug is compulsive in the nerves then making a list of all the things, eliminating those which are irrelevant and then picking up important items which would have otherwise been expensive after the discounts are done would be a good idea. Shop wisely. Shop for yourself, not for the market.
  4. Sleeping it out is a good option. I mean who wants to crowd around in a shop and be flustered; come home with something you don’t need? Instead, working on yourself, meditating, reading those books you wouldn’t otherwise pick up due to lack of time, is a good option. Writing, showering, if you haven’t in the last few days.
  5. Making that trip to the gym and buying a ticket to health.
  6. Fixing broken things at home, the stuff your peers, family have been pestering you about for a long time and you have been avoiding.
  7. Catching up with long distance friends… go to a library, the books will be thankful.
  8. Scavenging through your closet and removing all the discounted items you bought previous Black Friday’s and didn’t use. Donating it to someone who might use it.

Remember the kind of impact this spending frenzy will have on the environment and the waste it would create. The lifespan of clothes have been cut by 75% due to influx of new clothes lines every month into the market; with the constant pressures of being in Fashion, people are purchasing unnecessary accessories and clothes which not only burn a hole in the pocket but create garbage. Electronics create another big chunk of waste which cannot be recycled or are not because it takes too much investment to recycle. Products bought online, if returned are immediately trashed; why.. because its cheaper to trash than to repackage and sell. Imagine the waste in the packaging?? So if you have to then make your purchases wisely.

There is so many opportunities a Black Friday can open up if we decide to make it more than a shopping day. Of course, we could save up a lot of money because Discounts don’t Count. Ultimately every purchase you make with or without discount is money spent. Spend wisely. Do you really… really need it?? Or are you buying it because its cheap? Would you really want to be caught up with pulling and fighting with people for cheap stuff on the line, or getting smothered in doggie love at an Animal Shelter, or lounging in your pyjamas at home? Make a choice and Have a great BLACK FRIDAY… 🙂

© 2019 Dhanlaxmi Goyal

Life Rests in Death’s Bed

Why fear Death?
It sleeps with Life;
In warm beds,
Making Love,
Wandering in Time.

In the folds of seconds
Time finds pleasure;
One Part Life begins,
One Part Death consumes it.
Life awakens, Death sleeps.

Why fear Death?
It awakens Life;
In the smells of Coffee,
In the Songs of Birds,
Reaching for Life.

In the folds of Seconds,
Times finds rest;
One Part Death Sleeps,
One Part Life Waits.
Patiently, in Death’s Bed.

© 2019 Dhanlaxmi Goyal

Running his own Race

robin-sharma-articleThe power of great thinkers’ lies not only in empowering individuals but revolutionizing the power of thought. Robin Sharma, a 41-year-old author and public speaker has been an initiator of such a crusade. Robin’s books have sold over 1.5 million copies in the past five years and individuals such as Israeli Prime Minister and Nobel Prize winner, Shimon Peres, Michelle Yeoh and Ricky Martin have embraced his books. Noted Self- Help Guru, Robin Sharma in conversation with Puja Goyal

Source: Vijay Times, Life : CenterStage- 3.
Copyright © 2005 Puja Goyal.

The transition from a lawyer to a writer: I was unfulfilled as a lawyer. It was as if I was leading a pretentious life. I had become a lawyer only to pose good in the society and over time it had lost its meaning. I wanted to know what was missing in life and therefore went on a journey of self exploration.

The books… self help or philosophy: Both! When you know better you do better. Tell me, if an accomplished journalist came to you and told you that if you followed these five points right now, it would make you one of the finest journalists… what would you do? These are simple philosophies of life put together for individuals in the form of a book… When people come and tell me stories about how my books have made a difference in their lives… I am moved and then I know that this is the right thing for me to do.

The concept of The Monk who sold his Ferrari: In my opinion individuals come to India in search for spirituality because it’s rich in philosophy, over here, people appreciate depth and the continuous pursuit of the inner meaning of life. This is what The Monk… is all about. The book featured the concept of imparting life defining teachings from a teacher to a student. Most people who have read the book think it is real and that the incident actually happened with me, but I’d like to clarify…it wasn’t me. The concepts in the book are my own experiences, but the set- up was imaginative.

Future Plans: My upcoming book is called The Greatness Guide which features ten best lessons life has taught me. I am also working on the movie version of The Monk who sold his Ferrari (expected release date 2006), in which I will be playing the main lead, don’t expect to see Brad Pitt in it (he laughs).

Inspiring lessons in life: When I was twenty- one, one of my mentors said “Run your Own Race” these are simple words but have had a deep and lasting impact on my life. It is easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing, and easy to loose yourself in it. You have to live your life on your own terms because at the end of the day, when you are on your own death bed, the only person who is going to be with you is you. And the only person you are going to feel good about is yourself.

In my books I have also reflected on the importance of family. When one dies no one says he died surrounded by his golf mates or business partners, we say, ‘he died surrounded by his loved ones’. Similarly, when it comes to children, we have a very little time and opportunity to create a bond between them and us. Once those opportunities are lost, they will never be realized again.

A word For Indian writers: The world needs great ideas. Keep writing!! Don’t give up on your dream, sometimes you have to fail a hundred times to gain success. Are you up to it? People think that Oh! He is a great writer, he must have gone through no troubles, but I have had my share of failures in my life too, I have been through turmoil in my life, a difficult divorce, and am a single parent now… I had started of with ten boxes of self- published books in my kitchen. I would take The Monk… to stores and on the roads and sell it to people individually. My first book seminar was in front of 26 people all of who were my family members… so it hasn’t been a smooth ride… you have to learn to hang on.